CHRISSY BANKS: DAYS OF FIRE AND FLOOD
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ISBN 0 9546801 2 X
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|CHRISSY BANKS: DAYS OF FIRE AND FLOOD|
Many poems, concerning exterior events or fantasies, lead skilfully back to the poet's own problems, even sometimes when the 'you' word is used and is nothing more than a retro-action to the self.
There is a wrestling with emotional problems and fear or caution in dealing with them in THE LITTLE MERMAID, using the fish tail and human torso conjoinment as an analogy for disparate behaviour characteristics:
I know a cave that's neither one world nor the other, where I am neither woman nor a fish. Nothing is anything in there — except for darknes, emptiness, my heart pulsating like a star and fear which amplifies the void to one rapacious open mouth.It is not an easy poem to follow if one stops to analyse. One of the prefaces describes it as 'a profoundly serious exploration of identity.' In other poems sexual coupling is obviously a priority, blanking out the philosophical considerations. Identity is lost in the sex-fire. Thus in THE GREED OF NOW AND YES
but the hot imperative of flesh was once more gatheringand in HEATWAVE
I'm on fire tonight. Unzip my dress . . . . Place your lips there and drink me.Loss of identity is also mulled over in UNION:
we are a chinese puzzle somewhere your end and my beginning somewhere your beginning and my end whats more my breast is wedged inside your throat your heart pulsates against my tongue our hands are tiedReaders would probably not find all these sex and identity quests a bit of a bore because of Banks's skills in providing exciting and enticing poetic techniques, and there are other poems to read which give more level playing fields than personal emotional ups and downs, such as SIX WAYS TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON A WALL, FLOOD,and DESIRE, which is fully externalised in a sequence about the plot of Herodias to make Herod grant Salome's request to have John the Baptist executed:
As the last veil falls my mother rises, applauds; and Herod grants me anything I ask for, anything.And although perhaps £8.95 is slightly high, I believe most purchasers will also be granted satisfaction along with receipt of this collection.
|reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe.|